Influenza and Public Health
Learning from Past Pandemics
Edited by Tamara Giles-Vernick, Susan Craddock, Jennifer Gunn
Routledge – 2010 – 312 pages
Major influenza pandemics pose a constant threat. As evidenced by recent H5N1 avian flu and novel H1N1, influenza outbreaks can come in close succession, yet differ in their transmission and impact. With accelerated levels of commercial and population mobility, new forms of flu virus can also spread across the globe with unprecedented speed. Responding quickly and adequately to each outbreak becomes imperative on the part of governments and global public health organizations, but the difficulties of doing so are legion.
One tool for pandemic planning is analysis of responses to past pandemics that provide insight into productive ways forward. This book investigates past influenza pandemics in light of today's, so as to afford critical insights into possible transmission patterns, experiences, mistakes, and interventions. It explores several pandemics over the past century, from the infamous 1918 Spanish Influenza, the avian flu epidemic of 2003, and the novel H1N1 pandemic of 2009, to lesser-known outbreaks such as the 1889-90 influenza pandemic and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968. Contributors to the volume examine cases from a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, epidemiology, virology, geography, and public health, identifying patterns that cut across pandemics in order to guide contemporary responses to infectious outbreaks.
'A valuable interdisciplinary book about the response to pandemic influenza which integrates insights from science, social science and history. The authors illuminate the intersection between science and policy and highlight key issues which cut across time, geography and pathogen.' Virginia Berridge, Professor of History, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 'Policymakers and practitioners should take on board the many insights in this book before the next pandemic begins.' Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Health Care, Queen Mary University of London 'Influenza pandemics have been among the most unpredictable and devastating natural disasters, but discussions about them are usually confined to specialists. This book makes fascinating reading for anyone who wants to understand the context of pandemics but may have been deterred by the technical detail. It will do much to introduce the field to a broader range of readers, and to show why the collaboration of many fields - especially in the social sciences -- is essential if we are going to understand pandemics and deal with them appropriately.' Stephen S. Morse, Director, PREDICT - USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) Program; Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University
Foreword. Introduction 1. Globalized Complexity and the Microbial Traffic of New and Emerging Infectious Disease Threats Part 1. Reframing 1918: States, Pandemics, and Public Health 2. Barcelona's Influenza: A Comparison of the 1889-1890 and 1918 Autumn Outbreaks 3. Prevent or Heal, Laisser Faire or Coerce: The Public Health Politics of Influenza in France, 1918-1919 Uses and Misuses of the History of the 1918 Pandemic: Two Integrative Essays Part 2. Epidemiology, Virology, and 20th Century Epidemics 4. Are Influenzas in Southern China Byproducts of its Globalizing Historical Present? 5. Recent Influenza Epidemics and Implications for Contemporary Influenza Research 6. Influenza and the Remaking of Epidemiology, 1918-1960 7.Hong Kong Flu (1968) Revisited 40 Years Later Scientific Influenza Research and the Management of Uncertainty: Contemporary Perspectives Part 3. Governmental and Non-Governmental Institutions and the Politics of Epidemic Management 8. Mobility Restrictions, Isolation, and Quarantine: Historical Perspective on Contemporary Debates 9 .Influenza, Intellectual Property, and Knowledge Sharing: A Recent History 10. Biosecurity in Time of Avian Influenza: Vietnam Epidemics and Ethics: Comparative Insights and Critical Questions for Public Health Planning. Commentaries. Conclusion
Tamara Giles-Vernick is a Research Scientist in the Unit of Emergent Disease Epidemiology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Susan Craddock is Associate Professor at the Institute for Global Studies and the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota.